Rev. Miles O'Brien Riley

Summary of Case: A woman informed the San Francisco archdiocese in the 1990s that Riley had had sexual contact with her in the early 1970s, beginning when she was 16 years-old. The archdiocese reviewed the accusation in 2002, and allowed Riley to quietly retire. Riley had been well known for many years as the voice of the archdiocese. His biography in 2011 is on the International Speakers Bureau website. It states that he "has written five musical comedies, published eleven books and hundreds of articles and reviews. He has produced a dozen films and hosted over 1500 television and 4000 radio programs." It says further, among other things, that "he has conducted communications training workshops throughout the United States and in 50 countries worldwide." Riley also earned doctorates in communication (U.C. Berkeley) and ethics (Gregorian University in Rome and the Graduate Theological Union) and a Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling.

Ordained: 1963
Retired: 2002



Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop was Joseph Thomas McGucken (1962-1977)

1964     CA   Riley is not indexed in the 1965 Directory. His ordination date is per a website professional bio.



1968 St. Raphael's San Rafael CA 3/6, 2/5 St. Raphael's had a school with 400-335 boys and 404-319 girls.
1964 1968 San Quentin State Prison San Rafael CA    
1968   Radio Ministry       This assignment is per news reports.
1968 1970

St. Paul's

San Francisco CA 2/4, 2/5 St. Paul's had an elementary school with 447-436 boys and 443-407 girls, and a high school with 450 girls.


McGucken was succeeded by John Raphael Quinn (1977-1995)

1982 Mission Dolores Basilica

San Francisco

Riley was accused in the 1990s of having sexual contact with a girl beginning when she was 16 years-old in the early 1970s.

CA 5/5, 4/4
In residence.

Mission Dolores had a school with 298-270 boys until 1976, when it became coed. From 1976-1982 the school had 285-240 students, male and female.

Riley is said to have established a communications center for the archdiocese in 1970.

1982 1989 St. Gabriel San Francisco CA 4/4, 5/5
In residence.
St. Gabriel had a school with 545-456 students.
1989 1991 Special Assignment: Catholic Communications San Francisco CA   Riley was a "longtime voice" of the archdiocese, and was known for his many appearances on a tv show called "The God Squad".
1991 1995 St. Catherine of Siena Burlingame CA 3/3, 3/4 St. Catherine's had a school with 313-320 students, and a religious education program with 144-175 students.
1992 1994 Special Assignment: Pastoral Commission San Francisco CA    


William Joseph Levada replaced Quinn (1995-2005)

2002 Special Assignment: Communications San Francisco CA    
1995 2002 St. Mark's Belmont CA 3/3, 2/3

St. Mark's had a religious education program with 135-175 students.

The archdiocese gave the information it had received in the 1990s regarding the accusation involving a 16 year-old girl in the early 1970s to the District Attorney in 2002.


Levada was followed as San Francisco archbishop by George Hugh Niederauer (2005-)

2010 Retired       Riley was allowed to quietly retire in 2002 after the accusation against him was revisited. In 2011 Riley remains active with the International Speakers Bureau.


Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1965-2010)

S.F. Archdiocese Quietly Removing Accused Priests, By Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle, August 29, 2002
Church News, San Francisco Chronicle, September 16, 2002
See No Evil, By Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, May 21, 2003
Miles Riley Biography, International Speakers Bureau, February 2, 2011

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Riley's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on November 22, 2011.